The Chicago Bears have informed running back Matt Forte that he is not in the team's long-term plans and will not be re-signed this off-season.
Forte is the second leading rusher in Bears history, behind only Walter Payton, and has been the club's starting running back since he was drafted in the second round out of Tulane in 2008.
Forte turned 30 in December and missed three games due to a knee injury last season, resulting in a career-low 898 rushing yards.
“We recently met with Matt to inform him we will not extend a contract offer for the 2016 season,” Bears General Manager Ryan Pace said in a statement. “These decisions are never easy, especially given what Matt has meant to our team and community. We have a tremendous amount of respect for him. Matt is one of the all-time great Bears and did an excellent job for us on and off the field last season. He was a tremendous teammate. We thank him for his professionalism and wish him the very best as he continues his career.”
While his time in Chicago is over, Forte still has plenty left in the tank and will be a sought-after player in free agency by a number of NFL teams.
The Bears will move forward with last year's fourth-round pick Jeremy Langford as their primary ball carrier, with Ka'Deem Carey as the No. 2.